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She is Florida

She is Florida

Maybe a mother song can sing
about a personal lady,
truly the tidewater, a Spanish Hammock beauty,
an excitable woman, mother of children,
a sometime casualty of men;
even a daughter of her own black eyed mother
whose picture once seen,
a certain turn-of-the-century photograph,
shows a warmly defiant smiling girl,
a member of the lower Creek clan,
and whose high mother love, mother pride,
woman fire
would filter through to the daughter child
one day to become another mother, lover
and woman on fire.

But just a mother song can sing
high in bole branches of the live oak
where woman when still a child
would escape family’s poverty
with morning’s biscuits bundled in rag
and books about reappearing, disappearing
shiny savior knights in misty mid-distance;
who could still smile childishly since
life turning to love-loss not yet
a ribbed road to reckon with;
who would one day climb down that tree
motherless, father itinerant, to care for
the other, too many children;
and who would come to plumb the deep
savanna of her heart as she kept keeping
to lesson learned of the marsh, the ones
telling all little sisters ‘keep on flowering,
growing berry ripe in the emotions,
keep on rooting, closing in dark humid nights,
keep turning my way in morning’s hush light.’

And so she lived a lengthy love with life,
she who closely loved the lengthy fight
with anyone rash enough to tell her no,
She had her men, several by account,
her husbands and lovers,
all noted in the errant’s tally;
She had her sibling circle reunion hymns,
her bridge parties and Sunday socials,
her memory talent for Cracker cuisine,
her children whose children would seek her out,
her sherry kept in the cupboard,
her Esperanza home proudly owned
and situate between gray ocean and tidal river;
she had her yard of twilight gardening and her
nights of wild eyed desires unresting with her like
a mistress of the lizard guard underworld;
and she had romance stories, her tales of true love
cajoling her through the flamingo’s
flouncing wings of dawn, to urge her well into
the last years while waiting,
still waiting for that man who might be
man enough to walk the tidal time with her.

And a mother song certainly can sing
for one who is still, and restless,
out in there on a marsh moist breeze,
whispering, sometimes rising through
fronds of sable palms;
to sing of how she loved to early drive
through the old Florida, the fingerling of
porous land swept slanted by the sea, and
pushed by the sun, and pulled on by the moon
into her own volupting interior.
While this tidewater, Spanish hammock beauty
passed down shadow sown byways, between
nighthawk groves and out in wide prairies
beneath gossamer skies fulling
the bowl of her soul.


Last edited by Terreson, May/16/2020, 4:15 pm
May/16/2020, 4:14 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson

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